My Early Retirement Journey

Review | 3 Free Spreadsheets You Might Want To Try

So when I was doing my June 2018 Financial Update, I was looking into different spreadsheets. Primarily I wanted a way to visualize my numbers and maybe refine the spreadsheet I’d made back in December 2017 when I first started this Journey. Below is what mine looks like. It’s functional but a bit clunky and …

How Being A Victim of Identity Theft Helped Me Take Control of My Finances and Pay Off $30,000 of Debt in 2 Years

So I thought I’d share my debt payoff story. I didn’t think there was much there, but perhaps I don’t give myself enough credit (no pun intended). I just thought – I got into debt when I didn’t have any money; I got out of debt when I did. That’s the overall gist. End of …

Financial Update | June 2018 Savings and Investment

Hey there! Welcome back to My Early Retirement Journey. In case you’re just joining us, here’s a little bit about me.  I am a single 30-something, openly Christian, hesitantly immigrant-y, human woman. I love watching TV while eating takeout, and I want to retire early. I currently work as a consultant in a tele-health call center making …

Why Yes, This Is My $300,000 Student Loan Repayment Plan: REPAYE 2018

Welcome back to My Early Retirement Journey. So the other day, I got an email from my student loan servicer. That’s better than a wedding invitation, said no one ever. What the heck is REPAYE What is it? REPAYE is one of four income-driven repayment plans offered by the federal government for federal student loans. …

Enron and Madoff and Ponzi! Oh My!: How to Background Check Your Financial Professional

So when I started My Early Retirement Journey, one of the first things I had to reconcile was the fear of letting my money go to a place I didn’t understand. Every few years, we hear the stories of Bernie Madoff, or the next Bernie Madoff, or the Enrons or even watch CNBC. CNBC has …

What The Heck Does That Mean: A Beginner’s Guide to Investment Vocabulary

So I recently did a lesson for my mathematical literacy class (my current side gig) on some basic personal finance topics.  I reviewed with them the Pyramid of Investment Risk and thought I’d share it here for any new investors like myself. I’ll admit I had to look up most of the words before I …

I Finally Got My Hospital Bill: The Cost of A Dual-Port Hysterectomy in 2018 (in pictures)

So I finally got a bill from my surgery. In my mind, I had anticipated paying up to the $1,000 deductible as dictated by my plan. Background: My health plan options, provided by my employer:   What I chose: Choice Plus Standard Plan Rationale: Although the monthly premium was higher, the deductible was lower. Psychologically, …

Season 1, Episode 4 How I Negotiated Down My Rent

BACKGROUND. As I mentioned in my early  budgeting struggles, housing is my biggest expense and almost caused me to give up on My Early Retirement Journey altogether.  Before my light bulb moment to make my budget work for me instead of the other way around, housing costs really threw a wrench in my 2018 outlook. …